Saturday, February 23, 2013
Banksy's mural "Slave Labour" (Bunting Boy) was auctioned today at Fine Art Auctions Miami , starting at $400,0000 and was expected to fetch something between $500,000 and $700,000. Completed in 2012, the work is a stencil and spray paint on render with additional jubilee bunting (Height 48 in.; Width 59.8 in. / Height 122 cm.; Width 152 cm)
The previous days before this auction have surrounded by controversy and have inclusively drawn the attention from the Scotland Yard and from the FBI.
All because the mural was removed this month from the wall of Poudland, located in Haringey Council, UK. Poundland is a store that sells items for one pound and is owned by property firm Wood Green Investments.
Haringey Council even started a campaign to bring the mural back, including contacting the Arts Council and Culture Secretary Maria Miller and the Mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado. A solicitor for Wood Green Investments has advised the company to avoid commenting on the subject,
According to Frederic Thut from Fine Art Auctions Miami, the mural was painted on a private wall and the owner of a private wall can do whatever he wants with his own wall. The auction house has been approached by the authorities and asked them to provide proofs that the work was illegal to sell.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said someone had removed it for sale and there is no suggestion of any crime being commited. They have advised the US authorities that there was no theft.
"Slave Labour" (Bunting Boy) was auctioned in FAAM's Modern, Contemporary and Street Art auction (lot 00006). However the lot was passed.
Another Banksy's work Wet Dog, a stencil and spray paint on stone (Height 78.7 in.; Width 63 in. / Height 200 cm.; Width 160 cm), created in Bethlehem in 2007 and expected to fetch between $600,000 and $800,000, was predicted to be included in the same catalogue (lot 00007), but it's not showing at this moment.